Australian bush fires: What can travel insurance cover?

Added 21/10/2013

The Australian state of New South Wales has declared a state of emergency after being badly hit by bushfires. The fires follow the hottest September on record.

Australia is prone to bush fires, especially at the height of summer (November to February), but this year it seems that the unusually hot September has caused fires to start earlier than normal.

Several large bush fires are currently burning around New South Wales and the authorities are struggling to control them. The fires have so far resulted in one death and 250 properties have been destroyed.

Communities are on alert to evacuate at short notice.

The Foreign Office advises that if you are in New South Wales or plan to visit soon you should check with the State authorities for up to date information.

Visit the Foreign Office travel advice pages for the latest information and links to the relevant State authorities.

How can travel insurance help if your holiday is affected by a bush fire?

If your holiday is affected by bush fires your travel insurance may be able to help.

Most importantly, if you are injured or become ill as a result of a fire your medical treatment will be covered under the Medical and Repatriation section of the policy. All travel insurance policies from include Medical and Repatriation cover up to £10 million and access to our 24 hour medical emergency support service.

If you are forced to move from your pre-booked, pre-paid accommodation due to fire you may be covered under the Catastrophe section of your travel insurance.

Catastrophe cover is designed to provide cover for additional, irrecoverable travel or accommodation costs if you are forced to move from your pre-paid, pre-booked holiday accommodation as a result of unforeseen events such as flood, fire, earthquake, hurricane and medical epidemic. The cover is intended to enable you to continue your holiday in alternative accommodation, or if that’s not possible, return to the UK. includes catastrophe cover on Gold and Platinum policies. Check your policy wording for full details.

For additional cover in the event that your outbound, onward or return journey is delayed or cancelled due to a natural disaster, including fire, consider adding Natural Catastrophe cover to your policy.

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